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Avenue A, Click Here and Pinpoint Media use new interactive advertising technology for customer lead generation: Leading advertising agencies adopt TripAdvisor's InventoryLink to increase conversion rates for Expedia, Travelocity and Radisson

NEEDHAM, Mass.--April 15, 2002-- TripAdvisor (, , the leader in performance-based travel marketing, announced today that three major advertising agencies - Avenue A, Click Here and PinPoint Media - are all using TripAdvisor's InventoryLink technology, a new form of online advertising, to generate customer leads for their clients.

Unlike traditional impressions-based banner advertising, TripAdvisor's InventoryLink consistently delivers average click-through rates for travel products of more than 10% - a response rate that can be up to a 40X improvement in versus traditional banner advertising.

Depending on their clients' goals, agencies use a variety of advertising vehicles to reach an advertiser's target audience. If an advertiser's campaign has a direct response component, one of the most effective ways to reach prospects is through targeted commerce links combined with a CPC payment model. Avenue A, Click Here and PinPoint Media are all using TripAdvisor's InventoryLink technology to run air, hotel and vacation package advertising campaigns for lead generation for their clients Expedia, Travelocity and Radisson on and its network of sites.

"As an interactive agency we are always looking for new marketing technologies that will help us meet our clients' online marketing goals and increase conversion rates," said Maggie Boyer, Vice President of Media at Avenue A. "Using a CPC-based model and very targeted promotions on a site rich in travel content was appealing to us. Because these links are so well-matched to consumers' search queries, we are able to generate cost-effective sales for our client."

"We are constantly testing and refining our efforts for," said Pete Lerma, Media Director for Click Here. "TripAdvisor immediately began performing at a level that has taken other sites much longer to attain. Because of the success of the campaigns with TripAdvisor, we are now launching two new product campaigns with them."

"TripAdvisor has become a very valuable partner of PinPoint's, and we have been extremely pleased with the performance of its commerce link program," said Adam Kaufman, CEO of PinPoint Media. "In our first campaign alone we realized a 5X return on our investment, and are expanding the commerce link campaigns to other Radisson properties to help drive qualified customer leads to them."

Relevance Matters for Generating Leads

Industry leaders such as Google and Overture have demonstrated that using very targeted commerce links that match a customer's search query is the most effective way to drive response rates and increase conversion rates.

TripAdvisor has applied this model successfully to online travel, right now the largest market on the Internet. With InventoryLink, commerce links are only presented to consumers when they are relevant to their research objectives. For instance, when a visitor is researching hotels in Cancun, they are shown interesting deals for lodging in Cancun, not rafting vacation packages in the Grand Canyon. Therefore, users clicking on the targeted commerce links are pre-qualified consumers ready to make a travel purchase.

Convert Buyers, Automatically Optimize Inventory

TripAdvisor's InventoryLink is also built to optimize the conversion ratio of lookers to bookers for agencies and advertisers. While banner ads and other text link programs deposit consumers on the home page of a client, TripAdvisor's technology deep links the consumer to the specific product page on the travel marketer's site where the consumer can quickly finish their research and purchase the desired product.

Additionally, with TripAdvisor's InventoryLink, there is no involvement required from an advertiser's IT department. TripAdvisor's search technology automatically indexes an advertiser's entire product database, creates unique HTML commerce links for each product and syncs these links with its search database without involving the advertiser. No other search technology is able to index an entire advertiser's database, allowing the advertiser the scalability to promote its complete product offering to its desired, qualified customer base.

"We are excited that interactive advertising agencies are realizing the effectiveness of TripAdvisor's InventoryLink technology for online lead generation for their clients," said Steve Kaufer, CEO of TripAdvisor. "We have seen that presenting very targeted commerce links only when relevant to consumers' search queries is the best way to drive leads and conversion rates for travel advertisers."